How to Stay Calm

July 22, 2016.
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Daniel Levitin:
How to Stay Calm When You Know You’ll be Stressed

Daniel Levitin. Neuroscientist and Professor at McGill University, Montreal. Dean at Minerva Schools in San Francisco, musician and author of three best selling books. PhD in Psychology. He has consulted on audio sound separation for the U.S. Navy, and on audio quality for several rock bands, including the Grateful Dead and Steely Dan.

In his TED talk he opens with a story—and note how he cleverly comes back to the opening story at the very end, thereby elegantly framing his talk with the story.

TED September 2015   5.3M views on

Daniel Levitin is a man of many talents. Not only a recognized neuroscientist—but also an accomplished musician, playing tenor saxophone and guitar, and has performed with leading music artists and bands—including Sting, Bobby McFerrin (Don’t Worry, Be Happy) and Rosanne Cash, among others.

Furthermore, he has worked extensively as a music and sound consultant, both for movies and music album recordings—and in the past he also performed on and off as a stand-up comedian and joke writer.

In 2007 he published his first book—This is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession, which became a New York Times best seller and won a number of awards.

160722 D Levitin This is Your Brain on Music

Even now, almost 10 years later, the book is a No. 1 Best Seller on Amazon—and two documentary films have been based on the book. In 2009 he came out with his second book—The World in Six Songs: How the Musical Brain Created Human Nature.

His most recent book, The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload, was published in 2015 and deals with the challenge that we all face—how to handle all the information bombarding us in our daily lives.

Trond Varlid

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This article first appeared in the EMC Quest newsletter series.

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